Great Decisions

— Great Decisions —

We meet once a month to discuss a topic as published by the Foreign Policy Association.

Books are ordered yearly for the group and there is a you tube video to watch before each meeting.   We are holding meetings on Zoom this year.  We meet the 4th Wednesday of every month from March-October.

Contact and we will put you in contact with the Interest Group Leads, Patty P.

Dec 2023:

10 of us had our final discussion of 2023 on Climate Migration this past Wednesday.  Many thanks to Suzie Evans for hosting us in her lovely home and to Lynne Whetstone for leading a lively discussion.
Overall I was very pleased with this year’s participation in the discussions and I plan to run two discussion strands again in 2024:  a weekly discussion on Mondays at 2:00pm in February and March and the monthly discussions 4th Wednesday from February through September. Many participants mixed and matched the strands to maximize the number of topics they could join.
I am looking for one or more volunteers who would be willing to coordinate the monthly discussions next year and I will coordinate the weekly ones.  Please consider helping with this so we can continue this popular program.  It’s not much work for the reward.
Each year I pre-order 38 books and they always sell out.  The 2024 discussion topics are below and if you are interested in purchasing a 2024 book through me, just email me and I will add your name to the list.  I am always humbled by the wealth of knowledge and life experience the AAUW women have and so generously share in these discussions.  If you would like to be removed from this email list, please let me know.

The Foreign Policy Association is pleased to announce the topic selections for Great Decisions 2024.

Mideast Realignment   By Marc Lynch

The United States and Middle East are at a crossroads. In spite of a reduced presence in the Middle East, the U.S. still has significant national interests there and the area is a key arena for global power politics. Can the U.S. continue to defend its interests in the Middle East and globally with a lower level of military and political involvement, or should it recommit to a leading role in the region?

Climate technology and competition  By Bud Ward

Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the “common enemy” of climate change?

Science across borders  By Mila Rosenthal

Scientific advances benefit from collaboration between researchers, but what happens when material, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) is controversial and important to a nation’s national security? Is there a middle ground between sharing information and denying access? How can we regulate cooperation?

U.S. -China trade rivalry  By Jonathan Chanis

China’s economic rise and its current policies of increasing the role of the state in the economy have led some U.S. policymakers to seek to deny China access to U.S. technology and investment. This is seen as a necessary corrective to decades of predatory Chinese economic policies. Is this a wise strategy, and how effective can it be?

NATO’s future  By Sarwar Kashmeri

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

Understanding Indonesia  By Charles Sullivan

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world’s largest democracies, the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.-Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

High Seas Treaty  By FPA editors

Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution, and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate?

Pandemic preparedness  By Carolyn Reynolds

Looking back at the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many lessons to take away in terms of domestic and international policies. Although this pandemic seems to have waned, how can we apply these lessons to future pandemics? Will countries cooperate, and will a consensus emerge on how to manage global health challenges?